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Hercules, Hollywood Accounting and Indie Films with Kevin Sorbo
Today on the show we have actor, producer, and director Kevin Sorbo. Kevin spent 3 years traveling around the world, modeling for print ads and appearing in over 150 commercials, before becoming a full-fledged international TV star when he was cast as the lead role in the immensely popular series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
In the mid-90s, Hercules became the most-watched television show in the world. Kevin also guest-starred as Hercules in episodes of the successful spin-off series Xena: Warrior Princess as well as providing his voice to the animated Hercules films.
In 1997 Kevin accepted his first leading film role in the fantasy action feature Kull the Conquerer.
Kevin guest-starred on the sitcom Two and a Half Men and played a recurring role on the final season of The O.C. One glimpse at Kevin’s IMDB and it’s clear that this hard-working actor takes no breaks! In addition to his work onscreen, Kevin now also produces films, recently serving as Executive Producer and star of the movie Abel’s Field.
Kevin recently authored the widely praised book, True Strength, which recounts the painful recovery from serious health setbacks that changed his life during his Hercules years.
We discuss what he looks for in movies today, his years on Hercules and Andromeda, directing indie films and how he too was a victim of Hollywood accounting when it came time to get paid backend on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
Enjoy my eye-opening and entertaining conversation with Kevin Sorbo.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Kevin Sorbo – Official Site
- Kevin Sorbo – IMDB
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – The Complete Series
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – 5 Film Collection
- Andromeda – Complete Series
- DONATE to Feed America to help people affected by the pandemic
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
- $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
- The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop with Suzanne Lyons (COUPON CODE: IFHFILMPRODUCE)
- Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story) (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
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- Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons
- Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
- The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters
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Alex Ferrari 0:07
I like to welcome to show Kevin sorbo How you doing, Kevin?
Kevin Sorbo 0:10
I'm doing good. How you doing Alex?
Alex Ferrari 0:11
Good, my friend. Thank you so much for for coming on the show man. It's, it's, I'm a I'm a fan and, and believe it or not, we've worked together then beyond that you didn't even know but I actually worked on two of your films, one of them being abels field where I was the colorist and the post supervisor.
Kevin Sorbo 0:29
Alex Ferrari 0:30
Unable to field.
Kevin Sorbo 0:31
I love that movie. That movie deserved the theatrical you know, it's weird with these independent movies. It's uh, yeah, if I could draw it's about PNA it's about word of mouth. But you know, we got a big battle when battling the Hollywood giant studios, but that's a really good movie.
Alex Ferrari 0:46
It was a fight. It was a fun movie. I love the director love the producer. They get picked up by Sony eventually. So I know that I know. It did at least get some sort of good release. And then I worked on another movie I forgot it was it was you in a jungle fighting a monster of some sort. I forgot the name of it. This is years ago. And I was the colorist on that one as well as in Louisiana.
Kevin Sorbo 1:08
So in Louisiana,
Alex Ferrari 1:10
Kevin Sorbo 1:11
You're gonna jungle fighting a monster. It sounds like Hercules but I shot number seven.
Alex Ferrari 1:14
No, no, it was not. It was definitely not Hercules. It was another movie. I'll find it I was actually looking it up before interview I'm like I couldn't find in my I got a lot of pee. I got a lot of credits in my thing. So I was just kind of looking like where it is. And I know they changed the name afterwards. Anyway, but, but I've Oh, so I have you on I've had you on my demo reel for a while. Back in the day when I was when I was color grading. But, uh, but I was a fan of yours since the beginning. But let me let me start off the interview with how did you get into the business?
Kevin Sorbo 1:44
Um, a really small town in Minnesota about 7000 people in it. We're about 25 miles west of Minneapolis. It's called Mount Minnesota. It's on a beautiful shores of Lake Minnetonka. And so get the name Lake think Minnetonka we were home to Tonka toys. That was the industry in my little town employed like you know, 25% of the population there. But we went to the Guthrie Theater and the Guthrie Theater is very famous singer Minneapolis and back a lot of actors out of Broadway start there. A lot of things start there before they move like Lion King, for instance, was there before they moved to Broadway. So we went 11 years old went to see the Merchant of Venice. It was a field trip with my elementary school. I was 11 I don't know what the hell they were saying because it was Shakespeare but I was mesmerized by it all. And I you know, on the way home I told my mom I said, you know, I'm gonna be an actor. And she said, is that right? She goes, Well, that's nice, dear. And, you know, I I kept it quiet because you know, being a thespian, where I came from and we made fun of those people in the drama class. I was a jock. I was a football basketball baseball guy. So I had to hide in that closet so to speak, until I got into college where I had double major in business but I took my minor in drama so I but I, you know, Minneapolis, really offered a lot of great things for me because a lot of people don't realize that Minnesota Minneapolis is headquartered national core is seven 3am Honeywell Pillsbury General Mills target Best Buy so all these companies they said there that all their commercials back in the day there so I got that all important Screen Actors Guild card by doing commercials all through college.
Alex Ferrari 3:24
That's when I was I was when I was in Florida. You know, the actors I worked with they were just just dying to get on to the get that sag card. And that's how many of them got them just by doing that commercial like oh my god, I'm sag eligible now because I got this this commercial. So it is it is a hustled being an actor, there is no, no, no doubt about it
Kevin Sorbo 3:46
I double major marketing advertising, I tell people I market and advertise myself because you are your own product in this industry, you know, and you got to get out there. And most of the time I tell people that want to get a business they go What's the like, and I go, I'll get ready for you know, a lot of doors being slammed in your face because rejection is the main thing of Hollywood. So, you know, it's a matter of getting out and again out there. I remember I did a lot of commercials. I'm one of the few guys I know that I'd befriended when I moved out there because I didn't know anybody. I already had the sag card. I already had the commercial agent because I sent my reel out to the commercial agents that I you know, found out about and they all assigned me because you know, I had a good reel already. I already had like 40 commercials on there. And so they knew my face from commercials. So that wasn't a problem. I never had to work another job. between 1986 and 1992. I shot over 100 commercials.
Alex Ferrari 4:37
Wow, you were you were an actual working actor.
Kevin Sorbo 4:41
I was a working actor and in between that was enabled me to do the really good acting classes. I said I studied with Roy London, for instance. You know they were Roy Roy in my class alone I had Matthew Perry's classmate Brad Pitt was in that class with me, Charlotte Ross. With some really good people that went on to do obviously had really good careers. So it enabled me to study and not have to like miss things because of work or something like that. And I remember my commercial agent one time I called up because you know, once you start to get to know people, Hey, man, there's one for there's one for Coca Cola. You hear about that one, you know? And so I'd call my agent all the time. Hey, what about this one? And my commercial agent said to me one time it's Kevin, I got 100 other clients, you know, I said, I don't give a crap about your other clients. Do you think they care about me? My mantra is, let me have the opportunity to be rejected. That's why I said, let me at least go in there. I'm willing to drive and this craphole traffic of Los Angeles to do what you know, and wait an hour before they see me for my two minute little audition scene. Let me have the chance to get turned down. I mean, I treated it like a business. I really pounded the pavement.
Alex Ferrari 5:51
Now, you know, you know, I mean, I've I've been directed for a long time. And I've obviously done a lot of auditions. And we as filmmakers get a tremendous amount of rejection. But it pales in comparison to the immense amount of rejection that actors have to deal with on a day. I mean, sometimes being rejected 456 times a day, if they get to that many auditions. How do you deal how did you deal with rejection? Because I'm assuming Yeah, you were a working actor, but I'm assuming for those 100 so commercials, you probably went out for 2000 of them?
Kevin Sorbo 6:21
Oh, sure. I live in Santa Monica. Right. And Ocean Park Boulevard is right in the Venice border. And to deal with rejection. I went and pumped on everyday at Gold's Gym and bike and either bike or rollerblade to downtown Manhattan back every day. Otherwise, I think I would have gone postal on people you really have I think and I think being that jock. I used to be that outlet was amazing for me. And I needed it. I needed I also played I had six years I was in three basketball leagues. So I was I was playing basketball three times. We had one in Pasadena, one in Northridge and one in Beverly Hills. So I wasn't I was playing hoops all the time. So I was always physically staying active to burn off that frustration.
Alex Ferrari 7:03
Because Yeah, it's absolutely frustrating to say the least.
Kevin Sorbo 7:06
I got down the last two guys for Lois and Clark, who's Dean Cain and myself. Dean's very dear friend of mine. He's a great guy. And we both did our auditions. Our screen tests with Terry hats are have already had the role. And that night, my manager call she got the role cap. And that was when Laura Mar studios used to be in Warner Brothers. They're gone now. But I think Les Moonves was the president there before he moved to CBS. Right? So they call me you got the role. I got excited. We want party. And then the next day, yeah, they change your mind. They're going thinking, Oh, that'd be absolute high, high highs of acting Low, low lows. It's a very frustrating business. But ultimately, three months later, I did book the role of Hercules. And as I love to tell de my show, when for seven seasons found a new zealand around the world. 176 countries became the most watched TV show in the world. And you got Canada for three seasons. I'm okay.
Alex Ferrari 8:03
It all worked out for everybody
Kevin Sorbo 8:05
It worked out for me. Things are great. I've done a couple movies together and we got another one we want to do together next year. We're trying to raise money for right now.
Alex Ferrari 8:12
Now, what is the one thing you wish you would have known when you started in the business?
Kevin Sorbo 8:21
I wasn't surprised how political is I wasn't surprised how crazy it is, you know, because I knew enough about it. And even just in the commercial world in a smaller place like Minneapolis St. Paul, which really isn't that small. It's pretty big, pretty big around there too. But I just I I had a hard time dealing with the backstabbing, they came from your own agents and your own managers that you found out about later. I remember one time I was in talking my commercial agent a good buddy of mine I just finished golfing and I stopped by and say Hey, what's going on blah blah blah. And right next to me. I heard the Booker from my buddy say oh card no carts out of town right now but I got a much better person for the role anyway. And I stood up and I said I just got off. I just got off the golf course with corn I busted him and I told you this happens all the time. It's It's It's amazing to me and also you know when when you sign I got very lucky I two series Hercules and Andromeda. So I 12 straight years of two series I the lead in him, and both of them 117 years, 115 years, and the percentage of you getting a second season is very rare. So but the amazing thing is how corrupt the industry is because you've heard it before the creative accounting.
Alex Ferrari 9:43
Don't do it.
Kevin Sorbo 9:44
They admit to a back end deal on your series or movie means you're gonna take it in the back end is really what it comes down.
Alex Ferrari 9:51
Great. That's actually a really great term.
Kevin Sorbo 9:53
I spent nine years in my lawsuit for my back and I Hercules with Andromeda and ultimately I'm getting throwing out my phone out that the judge behind it all was in the back pocket of the studio already the whole time. And my man, I really I really big entertainment lawyers, big, big ones that handle like the big name actors out there. And they said to me, Well, you know, you know, I said, Why? Why can't they just be honest? And he said, whilst the price of doing business, really, the price of a business is trying to screw you over, when when Titanic was the first movie to make a billion dollars back in 1997. Yeah, Arnold Schwarzenegger gets up in front of an audience of 2 billion people around the world and says, here's a movie, even the studio won't be able to hide the profits and, and you got a lot of nervous laughter from those first 10 rows of all the big wigs that run the whole frickin world, you know, but it's amazing to me how corrupt the industry is, and it's pretty open about it, you know?
Alex Ferrari 10:49
Oh, and it's something I've been yelling and screaming from the top of the lungs trying to warn filmmakers about because and I've seen it like, you know, you know, working on posts for such a long time on films like angels field and things like that. I hear it from the producers, I hear what's going on with distribution, and the Hollywood accounting and, and all of that kind of it's, I remember, I had a conversation with a distributor on a film of mine. And he actually told me, he goes, Well, you I was asking him, why is the cheque so small? Or? Or where's this cheque coming from? Or like, I got a check, you know, like, but where I know reporting, I didn't know what it was from. I'm like, thank you for this little money. But I like what, what is it? And he's like, what are you complaining about? You got to check. Most filmmakers don't even get a check. so nonchalant about it. It was just like, it was just like, I'm gonna go get a cup of coffee. It was so nonchalant. I was like, Oh my god, this is completely entrenched information
Kevin Sorbo 11:40
If you get into a second season, third season, a TV series, press me, they're making money. And they're making big money. And behind closed doors, they will each admitted I've golf with these guys. And they sit there and go, yeah, it is kind of what goes on the business. But he goes, Oh, yeah, I made money in there right away. But you know, certain people get paid and other people don't get paid because you got to play that Hollywood game. And I'm not a very good player at this stupid game. I'm not a big fan of it. I'm not a Hollywood guy. But I love being on the set. I love making movies. I love doing TV series. I like you know, it's I still get very excited when I'm working. I love doing it. And I'm going to hopefully, you know, thank God for independent movies, I'm still able to keep a career going.
Alex Ferrari 12:18
Now with with Hercules, how did you get involved with Hercules? Because if I'm not mistaken, it started off with some It was like movies first, right? And then it turned into a series.
Kevin Sorbo 12:26
yeah we have five to our movies. What when my agent called me on this one, I kept, I'm not a small, I'm a six, three, you know, and back then I weighed around 225. I'm to 10. Now because I'm getting older. It's hard to keep the muscle mass, though working out every day, though. But, uh, when I got the call, I thought all right, you know, I mean, I'm athletic. I played sports. And I'm, you know, I work out all the time and lift weights all the time. But I tell them that they're gonna want some, you know, 280 pounds, no neck, you know, bodybuilder times they know, what they're looking for, is the guy that looks like he's an NFL quarterback, or maybe a decathlon guy. And I said, Okay, that's interesting. So I read the read the size that went in to read for that universal. About a week and a half later, they call me back and again, another week and a half later, they call me back in again, another week, they call me and seven times over like two and a half months. Wow. And the very last time i big build right off of the the the one on one that universal. Yeah, you know, the big tower hole in the big black towers, on the highway. I call it I call it the building where actors go to die.
But I went, I went in there, I was down the last three guys. And Sam Raimi was our executive producer. So I get in there, I'm on the stage. And that must have had there's like 30 people in there. They're all whoever's gonna make this decision for this TV series as all the men and women that have all the power and universal beside what TV shows get picked up and which ones don't. Right, so I got on stage and I said, you know, you guys have brought me in here a lot. I appreciate it. I signed the contract cuz now you're done the last three, they're gonna make it right. So we sign that five and a half year contract in case it goes more than more than one you know, turns into something more. And I said you guys never give me any direction here. Is there some way you want me to do this? You know, I'm looking at Mr. Ram. He says no, we like what you're doing. Just keep doing you're doing. So I read I read again with the with the actress. And then they said That's great. That's great. Okay, um, Sam hits the woman next. She goes, she goes, Oh, yeah, I need you. I have to ask you to take your shirt off, please. Right. And if you watch the show is in good shape. So I took my shirt off. And there was a you know, a few audible Oh, my sort of gas. And then being a smartass that I am I said, Well, I'm a lot bigger out of my clothes. Sam says to me, Ramy says so if you get the row Kevin Would you be willing to you know, shave your stomach and chest. I'm not like Robin Williams like seven inches. The girl but I got a little man cover there. Sure. And and he said, Would you be willing to shave it? And I went, Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you wanted a man for this role and I started walking off the stage. I got I got a big laugh and I said thank you all I left and the next day I flew to Vancouver because my ciclos series The commish so the third day on the set, I somebody had one of the pieces come up, Oh, you got to call your manager. So call my manager, Beverly Dean. And Beverly says you got the role. You're going to be Hercules. You're going to do five star movies are going down in New Zealand and blah, blah, blah. She's very she's all excited. I walked back on the set and I looked at checklist and I said I don't want to crap from you. I'm half God now. I went I went I went down there that actually for the next two months, I pumped a little hard to put another five pounds of muscle on and I trained with Douglas one Douglas one was one of Bruce Lee's original students.
Alex Ferrari 16:00
Kevin Sorbo 16:00
We went 60. Oh, great guy. We went his he developed thing called a white lotus kung fu method, whatever it was, but he taught me all kinds of weapon we work like eight hours a day for five days a week for two months. I go to New Zealand. Who do they book opposite me to play Zeus but Anthony Quinn. So I get a whole year working with Anthony Quinn Paulie and your listeners don't know he has Shame on you.
Alex Ferrari 16:24
Yes, please, everyone just google Anthony Quinn.
Kevin Sorbo 16:28
People need to in this industry they need to get schooled on the people that were there before us. And this is the guy that was nominated for six Academy Awards. He won twice. So it was halfway through the third movie where something happened on the set with Michael Hurst who played my sidekick Keolis and co crew laptop just cracked up and I looked down because we had we had live in the show not to make writers mad but we would add live stuff and they could take take it off they wanted to but I looked at Michael I said that's what this show is going to get picked up as a series he was a thing so I said yeah, because there's nothing like an on TV right now. There's nothing like this. It has this bigger scope with the cinematography what is New Zealand It was beautiful. The wardrobes we had the fight scenes that we did the monsters that we had. And sure enough by the end of the movie, the third movie, universal said we love what we see we haven't released anything yet. We're still cutting the first three movies but you're gonna stay down. We're gonna make this a TV series. And so by our season three, not only that we spin off. The female sort of Hercules version was Xena Warrior Princess. That same season. You know how Hollywood is is something's hoppy. I'll copy it. Sheena came out another another female thing. Robin Hood, Tarzan, Sinbad, Conan all these other shows came up sort of copy what we are doing. And by season three, we did pass Baywatch as the most watched TV show in the world which is pretty cool.
Alex Ferrari 17:53
That's amazing. And you guys were shooting in New Zealand before was in vogue. It was before Lord it was it was before Lord of the Rings right before
Kevin Sorbo 18:00
Peter Jackson used to come on the set the sailor cruise developing because we shot from 1993 through the end of 1999. I was down there for seven years. And we had Peter Come on a sailor cruise developing because all during that decade he was writing all three movies of Lord of the Rings. And when we wrapped he took 80% of my crew he took all the stunt guys. He took our our camera team we took well john Mahaffey and pm McCaffrey, the camera guys were just amazing. The john Mahaffey ended up doing second unit directing and all those things plus all the Spider Man movies after that, but nyla Dixon won the Academy Award for Best wardrobe for Lord of the Rings. I always told my crew I said, you know, it's ridiculous that they don't want to nominate us for a Golden Globe and me fine for acting, whatever like that, but to not look at us for cinematography. There's nothing on TV that looks as beautiful as his show and for our wardrobe and I was sort of like okay, she's not winning the Academy Award for the wardrobe on Lord of the Rings she should have got a gold over me on my show because the wardrobe on my show on Xena was amazing. And our stunt guys were just incredible as well so I don't know it's it's the politics of the business once again because we wrote first one syndicated show we weren't a network show so they just like they don't want to pay attention to us even though we had higher ratings than most shows on networks. And it was it was funny because
Alex Ferrari 19:17
I really never heard of and maybe you can tell me if this happened before but the studio doing a five movie like deal first then to see then roll it into a series has that been done before?
Kevin Sorbo 19:31
Well, here's what here's why that happens called the Action Pack wheel. Where they had they have four other shows doing movies we were the only ones that did five movies because they love with the show look like the other ones that for you had tech wars that Shatner was producing. You had midnight run where they took the movie that Charles Grodin and De Niro did was such a great movie it is had they had BJ in the bear and they had banishing sun does this karate thing. Okay. So we were the only one that it was funny because Sid sheinberg was the was the president of unify the time? And I remember, it was like, it was around season three, and I was back home with the universal Christmas party. And he comes up to me says, You know, I gotta be honest with you, when they came up with these action, we'll we just figured Hercules would be the first to go and you're the only one that still around? I don't know. It's just like throwing spaghetti against the bloody wall and see what sticks. But I you know, it's it's it's it's funny how what I was gonna say is if it back in the 70s, ed McMillan and wife in the cloud, and they had all these, these these two hour rotating shows that we're going over, like every Wednesday night, I think that's what they're trying to copy again with his Action Pack, but just it just didn't take off. I don't I don't know what happened to tech wars and why that didn't work. But we were the only ones that ended up surviving, which is great.
Alex Ferrari 20:51
I mean, to be fair, I mean, on paper, it does not sound like if you would sell like, you know, we're going to do tech wars with we're going to do and we're going to do Hercules. Like Hercules is one of those stories that has just obviously been beaten to death forever, because it's just an it's one of the oldest stories around. But yet you couldn't quantify the magic of the chemistry of what you did. And what the writers did with the directing team to production team, everything. It's just that old soup is not on the paper.
Kevin Sorbo 21:17
Yeah, well, you know, I think a lot of us do what Sam Raimi is brand new to you know, I mean, they love the quirky humor and breaking the fourth wall like Gilligan's Island or something. I mean, you know, every time I even turned my head they put a big sound effects. In the fight scenes, I love doing the fight scenes, you know, we did three every episode basically. And Peter Bell, our stunt choreographer would let me work with I mean, we would sit there and we shot like eight to 10 day episodes. So I was down in New Zealand 10 months here that was home for me for seven year. So when we were not shooting, I was fighting that day, we'd still be rehearsing I'd go in and block a scene that I'd go you know 50 meters away with the stunt guys to rehearse what the next you know fight or flight scene is gonna be and we always try to put in funny stuff. Like if I would throw a guy 100 meters and he lands he only put a wire economy lands in the Calpine pasture somewhere and then I kicked sword out of one guy's hand and flies through the air we've always made sure as that flies through the air make sure that guys getting back up and as sword hits some of the back of the head and knocks them back in the golf ball thing you know, in a bar fight I throw a guy out the bar you know through the wall and it's a cut up body of us you know, and you know, the hole in the wall is is kind of body and fans love that stuff. And it was it was corny it was cheesy but it was done that way on purpose because we knew with a show like this we got to have we want people to laugh with us and not laugh out. It works.
Alex Ferrari 22:41
Yeah, it's a very you had to do a little tongue in cheek I mean, if you would have done it dead serious. I think it probably would have not
Kevin Sorbo 22:48
I said tongue firmly planted in shape.
Alex Ferrari 22:53
And if so, and to go back to what you were saying earlier, you have to actually fight for back in participation on on that all that stuff for her.
Kevin Sorbo 23:01
Believe it or not, they after seven years they were gonna do seasons eight, nine and 10. Right. I got approached by major Roddenberry Gene Roddenberry's widow to do the first show ever created by Gene Roddenberry after the original Star Trek series back in 1969 was Star Trek it wasn't enterprise wasn't the next generation it was actually Andromeda. And my captain Captain Dylan Hunt was the first Captain ever created Captain Kirk so they she came to me and said, boom, they gave me a they gave me a two, two year guaranteed 44 episode pay or play. If the show the imago they're gonna pay me for 44 episodes holy cow at the salary that I was being offered for season eight on Hercules per episode. It was it was it was a mafia deal too good to turn down. Yeah, and I'm a Star Trek fan to begin with. And universal wasn't that mad about it because they own a sci fi channel anyway, so I was like, I was still part of that family. But because I didn't sign eight 910 I think it was like a screw you to me. And it's it's amazing what they will do to juggle the books. You know, they said they said oh, we lost so much money on the show. I wouldn't you lost money. I knew they were making money by season two, season three, they're making big money. But they can say whatever they want. And they own the court systems. They don't I mean, it's amazing to me how corrupt the system is and it and everybody knows it. Everybody knows it. I know guys that did other series that didn't get paid on their back end either. I know James Gunn, I used to golf with the late James Garner. And I was a big fan of Rockford Files. Yeah, he had a he had a fight 13 years or fers back end deal 13 years ago always make an improper file. It's It's unbelievable what these guys do. And it's it's they said oh, it's just part of doing business. Well no, it's not just being honest. But there's no honesty and integrity it's gone you know and it's it's bad that battle so I never got paid my back end.
Alex Ferrari 24:59
Oh my god.
Kevin Sorbo 25:02
They had Sam Raimi and Rob tappers contracts down there during the negotiations during the moderation mines next to theirs. My lawyer says their definitions are identical when you pay those guys. One lawyer from that studio said, well, all depends how you want to define the word definition. And that's when I said to the moderator, we better go to a different rooms right now, because I'm about to go across the table and probably do something that's going to hurt this guy. So Wow, it's amazing. What, what they'll do. So you know, and I'm a Midwest guy. I mean, a handshake shakes as good as a contract. But you know, you see, you'll see how thick the contracts are in Hollywood with all the double talk. And, you know, it's like, it's like Washington DC, right? What? 5000 page bill the other day, and they said, you got to read it.
Alex Ferrari 25:52
Yeah, they do. They do that constantly. All the time. They do stuff like that. It's so then but if you would have played ball and gotten 789 signed, that might have been different for is what they're saying?
Kevin Sorbo 26:03
Who knows, knows no one knows. I don't think I don't think would have been a different I mean, I know guys that didn't get paid in their backends other shows, I won't name them but they came back and said, Hey, we want to do a movie out of this. And they said forget it. And then they got paid their back and all of a sudden
Alex Ferrari 26:17
to do so when when So basically, if they want something from you, you can give them more money somewhere else. Generally, they they'll play ball like the Rockwood file thing is insane. That's insane. rockcliffe I was a huge I mean, what the 13 seasons, 13 seasons,
Kevin Sorbo 26:29
why don't win 13 seasons, but he took him through 10 years to fight it. Oh, yeah. I think I think they got seven years out of
Alex Ferrari 26:36
it. Exactly. But still
Kevin Sorbo 26:38
13 years before he got paid. And he did finally get paid. He finally got paid. How much money did they make on the money they owed him for those 13 years? Oh, of course. Of course.
Alex Ferrari 26:49
No. It's it's it is it is. It is. It's it's Aren't you happy? You're in a business?
Kevin Sorbo 27:00
It's amazing. You know, it's not the City of Angels. It's a city of broken dreams.
Alex Ferrari 27:04
But no, no question that
Kevin Sorbo 27:07
I think you'll agree doesn't matter what side of the cam you're on. Yeah. It's a business you want to be involved in.
Alex Ferrari 27:13
Especially if and the more I figured this out in my in my tenure in the business is the more control you have over the product, the distribution, their creation yourself, the better chance you have to actually get paid.
Kevin Sorbo 27:29
That's what we're that's what I'm doing my own stuff now. You know, so, but I mean, I don't think anybody gets in the business and say like an actor. Well, I didn't want to be an actor just sort of happened. Okay, right. Exactly. supermodel is I never really want to be a model. Yeah, you were just a hot babe that everybody was gawking at all. But I don't know, somebody took my picture and paid me $10,000
Alex Ferrari 27:47
an hour. So I'm like, why not?
Kevin Sorbo 27:52
Okay, I believe that.
Alex Ferrari 27:54
Now, um, can you explain something? Because I mean, obviously Hercules and Andromeda, you have fans, you have a really passionate sci fi fans? And what can you tell explain to people what it's like to actually be at Comic Con, and to meet your fans. Because I've been on both sides of the table. I've been on the I've been getting the autograph. And I've also given the autograph. And it is a really interesting experience. And I can only imagine what it's like for someone like you. So can you explain that to people?
Kevin Sorbo 28:25
You know, it makes a difference if the show is current as well. I mean, I still do Comic Cons, I still get invited a lot of them. I mean, this year socks, of course I had about, I pick out about eight a year, even though I probably get invited worldwide to maybe 30. I pick, okay, I've never been there. I want to do that one against that was good. But Hercules and Andromeda are still out there. And they're still fans out there with it. But when it's current, it's more rabid. It's more insane. Because I'm there as Hercules I come back for my two months, then I'm back home in the states before I head back down for the next season. And so I still got the long hair. I still got the you know, the look. And you sit across a table and people are there. They're nervous to shaking. Yeah, there's shaking. They're scared. I've had a couple women faint at the table. It's crazy. But But now because it's like those people now are in their 30s they're the age I was when I filmed this during my all my seven years of my 30s and now they got kids. So they're showing it to their kids. And there's more there. It's just kind of a nostalgic thing for them now to see me and meet with me but the kids are the ones that saw open eyes. But I love doing them. I have a blast doing them. I'm a golf nut so I'll golf every con i go to it I find a course Well let me tell you off at seven in the morning I go fast. I'll do 18 holes in less than two hours. And I go to the con and hang out and we go to dinner with some of the other actors like going to dinner. Shatner was just a just a hoot man banza come up to me during dinner and I'm cool about it. I chatted Like he won't take any of this like, he goes, Okay. You want to talk to me come to Canada. And I started get that two months I've been. I've been sleeping on an airplane. I've had people wake me up. No, I mean, I'm sleeping. And hey, can I get a picture?
Alex Ferrari 30:22
Here? Yeah, you kidding? No.
Kevin Sorbo 30:26
But but most people, most people are really cool. You get the people that hate you too. I mean, when I got married, I had female fans, right? And I hope people watch your show now. They got married, got married, I guess they thought that they sent me a picture of them in a bra or something. I ended up marrying them. Right? It was
Alex Ferrari 30:42
the it was that dream that hope that he's not married yet. So there's still hope that I might just maybe,
Kevin Sorbo 30:49
but I don't I don't know. But most fans are pretty cool. I gotta say most most people, especially now with the movies, I do a lot of family friendly movies. Like a whole spiel. But in the movies, I call with a good message in there and stuff. So I know I've lost some fans with that, you know, I'm heavy on Twitter and Social Media and I I posted truth. And like jack nicholson says you can handle the truth. And a lot of people can't they don't want to hear the truth. They want to believe whatever, whatever is fed them on the internet, because if it's on the internet, it must be true.
Alex Ferrari 31:17
Well, that'd be that's the law. I mean, that's the law says if it's on the internet, it has to be true. Now, there was a movie that you did call call the conqueror. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because it seemed to me that was in the middle of the Hercules. You know, fire not fire storm, but in the hurricane that was Hercules. And, and it was a universal project. I think they were kind of in you please correct me. They were kind of grooming you for something at that point. Can you talk a little bit about call? Um, yeah. I
Kevin Sorbo 31:45
mean, Raphael and Dale Aransas called me up and she's Dino's daughter. And she worked on the first she produced I think the first I think all three of the Conan movies. Conan called call was Conan his father in the books and also in the comic books. And they sent me a script, and I knew is in that vein of Hercules, but it was much more violent, much more sexual. And they were worried about me offending my Hercules fans, I was not I wanted to do with the way the script was written, which was much darker than what we ultimately shot. But they took the they made that our movie a PG 13. And a kind of a light pG 13. Really, we had a lot of humor in there as well, which I love humor and everything I want. I want the I love the humor and all that stuff. But yeah, they were kind of grooming me to sort of take over and not really take over our little bit, do the next thing because I had another movie right after that, that I was supposed to start filming as well. But that fell apart because of an illness that I suffered. And, but it was a bummer that I wasn't able to continue with them. But cold call was fun. It did. Okay. They opened on Labor Day weekend, which is just stupid. And I knew it was stupid. I said, I told my manager I said, we got to fight this. This is dumb. I mean, I know what the numbers are. People have gone to movies all summer long. And now Labor Day weekend, as most schools have been open for a week or two and people are done going to movies. And I said this is a Thanksgiving movie. Please wait. And they wouldn't universal wouldn't listen. And so the movie did. Okay. It's done very well in reruns and DVD sales. And because every time I go in autograph shows, Comic Con shows, I get at least 30 or 40 people that come up, they have any autograph the DVD. So I know it's out there and people like and it's funny. just mention it because I was at the gym just yesterday with my son here. And there's two people came up and they brought that up. What cracks me up is I did it. The last season of the OSI and I'll meet these these women are college girls. Oh, I love you on Oh, see. So I got you know, 250 episodes been Hercules and Andromeda. They don't nothing about that. But they know those eight episodes.
Alex Ferrari 33:47
It must be I mean, as an actor with such a fan base. And yet me you've done so much in your career. I mean, can you just we talked a little bit about it earlier, but for people to understand what it's like to kind of walk in your shoes, like when you walk out in public, you know, you do get recognized and and because I mean, Hercules was like you said one of the biggest shows in the world. And I'm assuming this is worldwide. I'm sure you probably have stories that you were somewhere in Europe one day and and people just walk up to you like Achilles and where they go Herky jerky, you know.
Unknown Speaker 34:21
Alex Ferrari 34:24
But But how what is that? Like? Because I mean, I don't I'm never gonna have that experience. I'm just curious if you if you could share a little bit of that.
Kevin Sorbo 34:32
I said people are people really nice about it. Last year, I had three Comic Cons and row near. one weekend after the other. I looked at my wife and I said, I got three, three teenage kids, two boys and a girl. And I said, Let's take the kids, let's go spend a month in Europe. Thank God it wasn't this year because all would have been canceled, right? So year and a half ago already. So I had one in one in Vienna, one in Munich and one up in Brussels. And so when I was when I graduated college, I went to Europe to study In three months, I end up living in Europe for three and a half years. So a form of de la. I stayed in Europe, I was with an agent in Milan agent up in Munich, and Zurich, and, and Hamburg, London. So I shot a bunch of commercials when I was in Europe as well. So I love being there. It made me grow up. I was 22 year old kid, it made me grow up. And really, I'm in a different country, different language, different culture. And it was really good for me to do it. It's I mean, it's a different world over there now, but it was, it was great back then. So to take the kids back, there was amazing and to go back and walk through the old man, I live in Munich for like a year and a half, walk back my old neighborhood and go out wherever we went out. You know, it was like, Oh, my gosh, it's Hercules or, and drama. It was always it was all all of that. And every city we went to outside of the Comic Con, of course, the Comic Con brings in those crowds. We just walk in the streets. It happens every day. I mean, of course now I get to wear a mask when I'm walking around by yourself. And we can breathe our own, you know, carbon dioxide, which is great. But it happens every day through airports and hotels. But what's interesting now, most of the time, it's about my family friendly movies. Like what if God's not dead? Let there be light tables field. It's those kind of movies that people stopped me now more than anything else, which is pretty, pretty amazing.
Alex Ferrari 36:23
That's awesome. And that's really awesome. Now when you're working with a director, what do you look for in a director when when you're working with one?
Kevin Sorbo 36:32
I want him to let me do whatever the hell I want. As far as
Alex Ferrari 36:37
I know all stop it. Just let me do me.
Kevin Sorbo 36:42
You know, it's, uh, I have the progress. I do love blocking. I want to go out there and, and I like to rehearse with the actors off off. You know, when you guys are setting up lights, some actors want to do some some don't they want to be more spontaneous with or something like that. It's fine. Everybody's got this sort of little approach to things. But I want the words to be secondary, right? I want to be in them. I want to be in there with the the Meisner technique. I'm working off you, you're working off me. But like I said earlier, I like if there's any chance for humor in there, I want to throw in humor. So I talked to the writers all the time on a Hercules we were always three scripts ahead. So in between setups, to I'd be on, you know, on the set phone calling back to LA because the writers were in LA, they went with us there. And I say I'm looking at, you know, this episode we're shooting in three weeks. I don't get this. So I love this part here. Can we expand on that? So I'm always open to work with the writers. I'm always open to work with the directors. In all the years I've been involved the business I think it's only handful of directors that were really kind of a pain in the ass that were just tough to deal with. And it wasn't just me it was with everybody. And but for the most part, I've been very fortunate. And even all the actors I've worked with, there was only one person of all years and Hercules I'm not going to name his name. That was really a pain in the butt when it came down to guests on the show news Panda, but for everybody in dangerous, dangerous and the fights, you know, and that's why actors think that look, I'm a good athlete. I know I'm and I'm good at fight scenes. And all the fight scenes I did in Hercules which would be I don't know hundreds and hundreds of I only hidden one stunt guy physically hurt him. And it was because he went past his mark when I'm throwing elbow behind me because I'm throwing an elbow without looking as I'm fighting guys up here. Sure. Anyway, two feet past his mark. And I busted his nose. I mean, it was blood His eyes were cliff, I'm sorry. That's my fault, man is my fault. Me, but I felt horrible about it. And I know what the you know, I've heard stories of Steven Seagal hurting guys all the time on the set. Right? And I know, do that with other actors. their ego is why can do this. And I agree with Harrison Ford where he said I don't want to fight actors. Because I'm doing it all the time. And these guys are not but their egos why can do this. And I that's the time, I would tell my stunt guy. Sam, come on in and you're taking over for this point, you know, because it just wasn't worth it for me to get hurt because I got hurt enough on that show. Just doing stuff the way it was. And, you know, it was my ego that wanted me to do my own stuff, my own stunts, but I just had fun doing it. I loved him.
Alex Ferrari 39:17
And and now and I know you mean you've you've worked on the every scope of production from you know, indie indie budgets to multimillion dollar budgets. How do you deal as an actor with difficult production environments? Because I've been I've been I've involved the different production environments when I'm not the director, but and I just I just watched to see how and I can only imagine like on the production side of stuff enough. But if you're the actor in front of the camera, and you're the star, how do you deal with, you know, not to say in competence, but maybe you know, ego, things like that. What do you do as an actor especially, it also depends on where you are in your career at that point, too.
Kevin Sorbo 39:58
I think the best thing to do When you reach those points, which, thankfully for me, I have been having a lot in the creative span 35 years now. You take those people aside one on one I don't like making I don't like when I don't never want to embarrass people in front of the crew. I don't want it to me. I like I don't care if I'm acting or if I'm directing on it. I like to have a fun set. And I love to work fast. I believe in Clint Eastwood's mentality. You know, you're an actor. You come in prepared. You're on the camera team. You come in prepare, Clint those two takes and they move on one if it's if it's if he's happy with it, you know, and he's used to people coming in and whispered to directors. I mean, a lot of these younger directors think you know, all Hollywood, you got to work 16 hour days, you know, and I'll whisper in their ear. Oh, by the way, Clint Eastwood does eight hour days makes Academy Award nominated movies. Okay, just saying I'm just
Alex Ferrari 40:51
throwing it out there. You know,
Kevin Sorbo 40:53
there's so much waste of time on this.
I act like an assistant first ad. You have the first ad but then you got me and I walk on set and go. What are we waiting for? What's going on? You know, just get get going. And on Andromeda we kept a much. Hercules was longer days only because
Alex Ferrari 41:14
of the locations and an action to action always takes a little time.
Kevin Sorbo 41:18
And drama. We rarely went out even though you know, Stargate was filming down the road from us where their studio was, but every time Stargate was always outside, but every planet looked like Vancouver, you know, just pure, beautiful trees. That so we rarely went outside. We did a lot of green screen. We kept it we had two two big studios that we had my ship and one we have the rica Morrow and another one. And we did a lot of green screen and we worked that show Hercules including drivetime and lifting weights every day. I was 17 to 18 hours door to door. It was a brutal schedule. Wow. And drama those 12 hours door to door. If I if they picked me up at six I'm home at six my crew lovebugs that crew would just come off X Files. And David the company moved to X Files down to LA for last season there. were created a big stir he was like I'm done with Vancouver and I love Vancouver by the way but anyway um my crew love me because most one hour shows by your call time at 5am in the morning on Monday by Friday because those 12 hour turnarounds you're looking at a five o'clock in the afternoon start then you shoot till eight or nine Saturday morning. We wrap virtually every single day between five and 7pm every day. My crew is going home every day and having dinner with their family and they love me for after coming off the hellhole that they had on the hours they had on on x file so it can be done in I my latest movie miracle is Texas which will be in theaters next summer. I don't know if you can really see that post back. We can. I directed it. We got Lou Gossett Jr. We got john Ratzenberger was great. We got Tyler Maine. The WWF fans know Tyler Maine is the sixth dude. But he's also Sabretooth on all the x men movies. It's a great wonderful movie set in 1930. So people look for that when that when that does come out miracle in East Texas next spring. But that one we wrapped every day between 10 and 12 hours of shooting at the at the most. And we were outside at a ranch most the time we shot in the same location they shot Revenant where they set Unforgiven where they shot Lonesome Dove and open rains with Kevin Costner. So it was a great location and the people that crew we had was phenomenal. And I there's no reason that you can't, you know, shoot 12 hour days Max, there's no reason you just got to get people moving and keep things going. I like an ad I want to I don't want to be the jerk on the set. That's my abs job. I need the ad who's tough and on on top of things. And he's got to be he's got to be the bad cop. I'll be the good cop. But I've always trusted in everybody that I hire for their departments from hair and makeup to wardrobe to camera that you're hired because you know your job better than I do, which of course they did. So, you know, I may have ideas but I want I want it to be as corny as it sounds. I want to be a collaborative effort, which it should be, you know, if you have a bird's eye view of his set, I don't care what kind of movie there's independent big budget movie. As you know, it's a I call it organized chaos. You know, it's just it's crazy of all the people running around and hear people coming out and doing this person and camera guys lighting guys, and all of a sudden and action and then it's just becomes that scene once and cut and then it goes back into organized chaos.
Alex Ferrari 44:44
It's the second year everyone rushes in. It's like
Kevin Sorbo 44:49
It's like all the ants took a break and then oh, we found a dead animal.
Alex Ferrari 44:55
So So how do you how do you like directing now? I mean, I mean, you do to direct any Hercules episodes, I
Kevin Sorbo 45:01
started writing on Hercules. Yeah, I've been I've I've been DGA now for 2024 years and sag rover over 35 years. So yeah, I mean, it's uh i love it. Um I think I'm very good at that keeping separate the acting part and the dragged by when I'm in the scene because I'm in I'm in the movies I direct as well. I will I will leave it over to my first ad to do the action and cut. I don't know I I like to I love to film rehearsals. Because there's some wonderful things have happened. I do I'd love it
Alex Ferrari 45:43
if I can I do it.
Kevin Sorbo 45:44
How many times been on set when the director didn't film I so I go just shoot it. You know what it is? Oh, come on, in there. Get it on film. Because, and one thing that bugs me more than anything, is if an actor screws up in line, even if it's me, don't cut that it shuts the energy down right away. It just shuts it down.
Alex Ferrari 46:07
Kevin Sorbo 46:08
and we in very few directors did that on Andromeda, which is great. You know, you screw up. Now go, go, go, go, go keep going. And I just get back in that mode and go again, give me give me the lead in line, whatever it may be. But keep keep that energy going. Because a lot of times in the DPW goes, Wait, am I just got to fix the light. You know, that's 15 minutes.
Alex Ferrari 46:25
You they always have to fix a light?
Kevin Sorbo 46:30
Well, you know, I think I think for every for every department that a friend of mine who is an editor says you can never ever stop editing. You just got to find a place to finally stop.
Alex Ferrari 46:44
Yeah. Oh, yeah. You're never in a movie is never finished. It's abandoned? Yeah.
Kevin Sorbo 46:51
Okay, we're done. You know, cuz you sit in that editing room. And thank God, it's just as quick as it is today what it used to be, oh, cut a squirrel. But still, you get in there. And you can get glassy eyed after a while. It's just like,
Alex Ferrari 47:03
test me. I know. Trust me,
Kevin Sorbo 47:05
I definitely know what I will do. When I get my first director's cut in is I will bring over about 10 buddies of mine, friends of mine in the industry, and let them watch it and get their thoughts on it. I think is a smart. And I think every director, I'd read through that morning, every writer read throughs are important. And writers scripts, because writers are there and they're three in the morning. And they're writing and writing, writing. And then they get too close to it. And they can be such major holes in people's scripts that they can't see anymore. You get a bunch, you get a bunch of actors that you know, as a writer to read it out loud, and you can hear it out loud in yoga. Okay, yeah. And make your notes during that. I think it's important.
Alex Ferrari 47:45
That's so amazing. It's very, it's very, very true. And yeah, a lot of times when I tell writers as well, like, read the dialogue that you're writing, because it might read well, but when someone says it, not so much.
Kevin Sorbo 47:59
Those four writers take the most abuse, and they got the hardest job. They do the hardest job, you know, how do you find a great script? I mean, I've been on the set many times, and I've been guilty of it to where the actor goes, who wrote this crap. writers, you know, and actors take enough abuse the way it is. But yeah, it's it's a tough job. I wrote one episode of Hercules and we shot it. But I'll never do it again. It's just it's way too much work for me.
Alex Ferrari 48:25
And how and by the way, you've done so many projects. How do you pick projects, because I'm assuming you're getting bombarded with opportunities all the time.
Kevin Sorbo 48:32
You know, it's funny on LinkedIn, Kevin sorbo, dotnet, where people go get a hold of me as well. I get I get 1015 scripts a day sent. I mean, a week sent to me. And I got to type the same thing over again. I'm only looking for funded projects right now because I've got, you know, I've whittled down, down about down to about 20 that I want to do. And it was 25 but I've done five of those so far. The hardest thing is finding funding of course, it's so frustrating to find money for independent movies. And independent movies are fine with Avengers fine with the Pirates of the Caribbean. Why would they you know, all these action movies that cost 300 million bucks and they'll spend $100 million promoting it so they're on every their trailers and every football and basketball game and every whatever. And when I'm doing movies that are three $4 million people think that's a lot of money. That's like the catering budget on Pirates of the Caribbean. I mean, seriously, this and i i do movies that have that aren't filled with violence and hate and anger that seems the only thing coming out of Hollywood right now these movies that have such a negative viewpoint and just everything's got to be weird and just off beat and I like to do movies that people can go to and go like a blindside movie or Green Book which was awesome movie well.
Alex Ferrari 49:51
It's also a Soul Surfer and souls
Kevin Sorbo 49:53
yeah soldier. movies that have a positive message movies that characters. I can never be Hercules in real life. You'll never be Iron Man. Okay, but we can be the characters that we see. And what made me fall in love with acting was my mom. I'd sit with her when I was a kid watching Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and, and, you know, all these wonderful actors that are in that golden age. And I love these movies and with with a with a humor and that whatever that was in there, I just said, You know, I see actors that never seen Casa Blanca, these young kids you've never seen Casa Blanca, you've never seen, you know, Lawrence of Arabia, all these great old these movies that were just mad 10 commandments, and there's so many massive movies out there. And people that get in this business, I think need to get more educated on the history of the business as well. I think this is important.
Alex Ferrari 50:43
I mean, I was I was doing a color session years ago with one of the hottest music video directors in the world at the time. And I'm color grading this and I'm working on this project like hey, do you want a little Blade Runner here? And he's like, what's that? And I'm like, wow, I'm like your music video director. And you haven't studied Ridley Scott, probably one of the greatest commercial and visual storytellers of all time. He's like, No, I'm like, I need to stop the session right now. We're gonna go, I'm gonna grab my blu ray, watch the seed. Like, I was like, Are you kidding me? And I was the old fogy in the room. And I was like 30 something.
Unknown Speaker 51:18
Kevin Sorbo 51:19
Alex Ferrari 51:20
It was it's, it's insane. I just want to touch back really quickly, when you're getting all these scripts, because I want to do you a service. So everyone listening because I know a lot of people are gonna try to probably reach out to you because they're all filmmakers and everybody wants to get their projects done. A lot of times when they're and I've tried to tell people not to do this. They'll reach out to, you know, actors of your statute and with with your credibility, your bankability, and they'll go, Hey, here's my script, I need a letter of intent to go help find money. Can you explain why that is something? Do you do Letters of Intent? Is it is that something? I mean, all
Kevin Sorbo 51:57
if I read the script, I give scripts 20 pages, hold my interest, then I'll keep reading if it doesn't, I'll move on. But I'll do a letter of intent only now if it really has my interest because almost all these movies come in with no money attached to it. Right? And there's it's in it's frustrating, but if it's a role that really hits me after 20 pages, then I'm interested I mean look I got three movies and they can right now one of them is miracle is taxes. They're going to be in theaters next year. Hopefully we get past as COVID ridiculousness is shutting down the world running people's lives. I got a new TV series called the pot wins. It's like a Last Man Standing Tim Allen series as we shot at it. We shot eight episodes this past July in August, in beautiful San Bernardino. And it was a very boss who plays my dad and it's it's hilarious. It's great. Very, very funny stuff. We'll see what happens with that we did like I said we did eight is
Alex Ferrari 52:51
that was that independent?
Kevin Sorbo 52:53
Yes independent. It's independent but Netflix is interested in fox is interested right now. So we'll see what happens with that but but I've got four movies lined up for next year already one of my directing as well. We just got funded for that one. We raised the like 4.2 million, but I'd see it's like every two years I'm able to raise this money I want to be able to do two of these movies a year it's tough out there guys. And I know people come to me saying well I got a nice little independent movie that's a good you know, I call them actors movies. I'm gonna backtrack a little bit when I look for movies now. I want to look for movies that that move people like you said that like Soul Surfer like lineside like like greenbook which I thought was amazing bigger Morton's incredible. Like, I love doing movies like that, that people go I know guys like that or I can relate to that make you laugh, make you cry, movies that have hope in them. You know, we lost them. We have so much anger and hate in our world right now. And divisiveness. I want to do movies that hopefully would pull people together and you know, have a good message in there for anybody and everybody looking for something good. And because I think I think most people are I just think the media loves to perpetuate the anger and hate right now. I think most people are good people. And you know, we just got to find a place where you know, we can do movies that that get made and I meet very wealthy people I do a lot of charity. I do a lot of charity golf events. I meet very wealthy guys and they can spend $9 million dollars you know promoting some candidate for governor a president that doesn't get elected and gone that 9 million bucks I can make two or three really good movies that would be out there forever because that candidate yard is backing no one remember that is anymore? No so it's weird it's it's weird where we got to fight for the culture now I think more than anything else and that's kind of the movies I want to do movies with a positive message.
Alex Ferrari 54:34
And you also have a book out right?
Kevin Sorbo 54:37
I got I have a book that came out called True, true strength that came out about eight years ago I finally wrote a follow up called true faith. true strength was born out of us in the season five and Hercules I was having all kinds of problems my left arm and my shoulder and my fingers were cold and nama comfort was going on. I came back to do promotional work on I was on Letterman Leno did all the talk shows before called the conquer So I went to see my doctor and Beverly Hills there and he found a lump way up here. Before they could do a bio Shannon, thank god they didn't end up being an aneurysm that had been spitting blood clots down my arm for months while it opened up, sent hundreds of class my arm. And unfortunately for class my brain I suffered four strokes.
Alex Ferrari 55:19
Oh my god. So
Kevin Sorbo 55:20
I spent the I had another action movie I was going to be doing and I couldn't do it because I couldn't walk anymore. So I learned to walk and balance over the next four months. Again, it took me three years to fully recover. If you watch the last two seasons of Hercules, you can see I lost about 15 pounds of muscle because I wasn't able to work out the way I was working out before and I went from an 18 hour door to door day to about a three hour door to door over those two years is slowly building myself back up to about 10 hours a day. But it took me three full years to recover from it and true strength. People go to Kevin Sobel dotnet and get an autographed copy. It opened a door for me I thought I'd never be doing which is speaking events I do about I've had all 12 speaking events are canceled because of COVID. I've been to in the last month fortunately, one back in my home state of Minnesota, and I just didn't want up in, in, in in Dallas. I was in Dallas last week. So it's starting to open up again slowly. But it's really about true strength is sort of plan words because it Hercules had a lot of stunt guys make me look like a stud. Right? So I couldn't beat up those guys. And really, for me, it's like, you got to find your own true strength because everybody's got a story. Everybody's gonna have a roadblock in their life. No matter what age you're at, that you got to find out. What am I going to do? Am I gonna blame God family, friends, everybody else? The reality is you have to look in the mirror and say, okay, it happened to me. What am I going to do about it now and you got to find your own way to get back to living a life again, instead of blaming and crying and whining about it.
Alex Ferrari 56:44
Amen, brother, amen. And then I'm gonna ask a few questions asked all my guest. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Kevin Sorbo 56:54
Go for an intern intern. I mean, don't get paid for the hack where they get yourself in the set. You know, I tell people all the time I got when I my first my first acting coach is Bill trailer at the LA studios and they're in LA. And his wife, Peggy period died just the year before in a car accident. But he taught me so much in terms of just just sticking with it and going for it. But interning is just a way to get yourself on a set. He told me to keep doing the commercials I'm doing says because you're putting in miles, you're getting in front of the camera. Some commercials I talked in other ones I did. I got to be on a beach with a beautiful girl in a bikini selling, you know, orange juice or whatever, you know, but you're on that set, and you're doing stuff. I remember an actor in that class kind of make fun of you not a real actor doing commercials. Well, I got a hot date one night, he's my waiter, okay. I don't have to wait tables, I have money to be able to go out and have a meal. I do do commercials. I'm telling you one thing. Number one, you get your sag card. And number two, you'll make money. The first two years on Hercules, I made less money than I did the previous three years that I made in commercial residuals, because I would at any given time I have 15 checks a day coming in, whether it was $10 or $1,000, but I would rip off and every check while I'm watching Monday Night Football go on. This is awesome. You know, and there's money in there. But there's also a chance for you to do the things you want to do to further your career. And so I tell people get on a set and intern at any position. Watch what people do learn that way. Kevin Costner did Dan Raleigh studios, he learned what? Okay, this is what the carpenters guys are doing. This is what the camera guys are doing. Do you think he's a good director? Yeah, I think he's a damn good director of the no damn good actor.
Alex Ferrari 58:38
And Yep, absolutely. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Kevin Sorbo 58:47
I think patience. More than anything else, I'm a very impatient person. Me to what I did learn earlier. That's that's that kind of ties in with patients as a as a positive thing against the negative of patients is failure. I used to caddy at this private Country Club in Minneapolis, very wealthy guys, mostly guys, I cared for between 30 and 70. Okay, they're all successful guys all had money. And I would ask them, you know, here I am, as an 1819 year old kid carrying double bags is walking a fairway? How did you become successful? They all said, Kevin, oh, I failed. And then I failed again. And then I failed again. Then I kept failing. He said failure is a positive thing, not a negative thing. You got to you got to get rid of all the bad stuff. But take the positive stuff and drag that along with you. Because that's what I learned getting out to Hollywood with all those doors being slammed in your face because I told you as an actor, oh, you're too young. You're too old. You're too fat, you're too skinny or too whatever. There's always reasons they want to get rid of you. So I just I looked at that is a positive thing. I said, I know every actor, they get in their car and they're chewing on their steering wheel when they're driving the four or five or whatever. Tell them I say it that way. Why did I do it this way. I got to the point. I just Get in the car and said, I did the best I could have. They don't pick me. It's their loss. And that changed a lot for me just being a lot more positive about it.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:08
Very cool. And last question, what are three of your favorite films of all time?
Kevin Sorbo 1:00:13
I already named one of them. Casa Blanca, no question about that one. Yes. Jeremiah Johnson, Ray, maybe Jeremiah Johnson. And then it's a tough one because there's so many great ones in there. But I'm gonna take HUD it's an earlier poem and believe what I, the reason I want to be an actor were Paul Newman, Robert Redford. I've met Redford Newman passed away. But I have a letter from Paul Newman that's on my wall in my office. And it was great supportive letter and how he, you know, was a fan of stuff I've done and it just, it was just, it was just pretty cool. But, of course, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid in the sting are pretty darn good.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:55
They're not bad. They're not bad films. They're not bad. Not bad at all. Kevin, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this and this crazy, crazy time that we're in. And I appreciate you, everything you've done in your career and a lot of joy that you've brought to a lot of people over the years as well with all the parts you've done. So thank you again, my friend and safe safe travels.
Kevin Sorbo 1:01:14
More to come more to come Kevin Sorbo Happy New Year. Let's make 2021 awesome.
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